It was a full and who’s who opening night at The Intimate last night for Jason Potgieter‘s The Things You Left Behind. (It’s only on until Saturday, so get there quick Slaapstad). I say Jason’s because he wrote it and stars in it, alongside Alicia McCormick and directed by Kim Kerfoot.
The Things You Left Behind are five monologues by five characters who all tell their perception of the same incident. In fact, there is a TheatreSports game called Point of View that is very similar. Jason plays three characters and Alicia two. The thing they see, or are marginally involved in is an accident, and the monologues deal with their responses, however cursory or detailed.
I have loved seeing Jason on stage ever since I first saw him being the demented shop assistant type somebody in Tamarin McGinley’s Off the Rails. Since then I’ve seen quite a bit of his stuff and I think he is fabulous. In this he really showcases his skill, charm and versatility. His white car guard is classic, original and very funny and his drag queen is delicious.
Alicia is not as successful for me, partly because it feels like she is miscast. She is gorgeous and cute and funny, but seemed far too young to be a mom with an 23 year old son (although I was charmed by her gentle conservatism) and too gorgeous and cute to pull of the heavy, butch, smoking, drinking medic. I’d like to see her doing other stuff that she would be better suited to and someone a whack older taking on these two monologues.
Kim Kerfoot has made nice, simple, clear choices with the direction of the piece. I am sure that as he gets into his groove of directing he will be more ruthless! I sometimes felt he was letting the actors indulge in ‘cute moments’!
The Things You Left Behind is a great introduction to Jason’s writing (there are some writing moment gems, especially in the car guard monologue) which I am sure will develop from here. I love this kind of theatre; accessible, well told stories. The Things I Left Behind is also a confirmation of Jason on stage. Love that actor.